Diana Bailey



Diana Bailey, of Florence South Carolina, passed away on September 24, 2017. She was born on August 24, 1947 in Dillon, South Carolina to William Bledsoe and Sarah Hestle Hawkins. She attended schools in Dillon County and went on to graduate from Brenau College in Gainesville, Georgia and received her Master’s in Education at Cambridge College. Upon graduation, she began teaching first grade. She later married David L. Bailey, Jr., and they had two children, Rangeley and David. Although she and Leroy divorced, they had a successful co-parenting relationship and remained close until her death. She had many loves in her life: her children and grandchildren, her sister, her friends, her students, education, Gamecock football, traveling and New York City. She was a notorious jokester, and her sarcasm was unparalleled.
When she moved to Florence in 1982, she began teaching at Royall Elementary School. She loved teaching first grade and taking full credit for all of her students’ many successes in life. After teaching at Royall, she went on to run the award winning Parent-Child Home Program for Florence School District One. She was dedicated to improving access to education in Florence County and was relentless in her pursuit to teach parents and children. She believed that every child deserved the opportunity to be successful. Diana was affectionately called “The Mimiac” by her grandchildren; with whom she shared her zest for life. If you wanted a spur of the moment train trip to New York City, she was the woman to call. She enjoyed two trips to New York with her grandchildren and always wanted them to see more, do more, and be more. Her favorite Broadway Show was “Jersey Boys”, although “Mama Mia” was a close second. She was never one to shy away from sharing her opinion, but she also shared laughter wherever she went. Her legacy will live on through her children, Rangeley, and David (Kathryn), her grandchildren, Lawson and Lizzie Chewning, sister, Melissa Hawkins, sister-in- law, Barbara Ann Hawkins and nephew, Kirby. She had too many honorary family members to list as she took almost every friend in as family. Special thanks to her Brookdale Family, the doctors and nurses at Carolinas Hospital, and McLeod Hospice House for providing a final stay for her and a place for her many friends to gather and celebrate a life well lived.
Visitation will be at Central United Methodist Church at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, with the church led funeral service immediately following at 3:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the Pee Dee Chapter of the American Heart Association, 181 E. Evans St., BTC-009, Florence, SC 29506 or to Central United Methodist Church.